12 September, 2008

Catamount Glass Co. Microwave Popcorn Popper

Every now and then, I run into something that is really kind of cool, even though I don't have much use for it. Like this thing, for example: It's a microwave popcorn popper made of borosilicate glass by the Catamount Glass Company of Burlington, VT.

I kind of hate run-of-the-mill microwave popcorn. It uses a lot of packaging materials, it's loaded with disgusting waxy grease, and it costs about ten times what plain old kernel popcorn does. And despite all of the artificial flavors ConAgra and the other industrial food megacorps load into them, they still taste like shit.

The Catamount popcorn popper, though, is just as easy to use as one of those pre-packed popcorn envelopes, with the advantages of lower cost and increased deliciousness: Just pour in half a cup of popcorn kernels, put the top on, and put it into the microwave for about 4 minutes on high. You don't need any oil to pop the corn, though you can put some in if you want.

It works great - the corn pops up light and fluffy, and there are only a few "old maids" at the bottom when you're done. Just like with any microwave popcorn, you'll need to keep an eye on it to figure out exactly how long it takes to pop the corn in your particular microwave so it doesn't burn.

The handle on the side of the popper doesn't heat up in the microwave, so when your popcorn is done, it's simple to just take the lid off and pour it out into a bowl. And it's really easy to clean. Most of the time, it will only take a good hot water rinse to clean it up, but if you ever have to scrub it, the wide mouth is easy to reach into with a sponge.

The thing is, I have the same complaint about this popper as I do about hot air poppers. The popcorn is a little dry and kind of flavorless since it isn't popped using oil, as it would be in a traditional popping kettle or a saucepan on the stove. But, just like with air poppers, it's trivially easy to just top the snack with melted butter and tasty salt before eating. So I guess that, even though I still prefer making popcorn in a pan on the stove, the Catamount popper is worthy.

Catamount Glass Co. Inc. doesn't have a directly-named corporate website. However, they seem to be the operators of vermontgift.com, a website where a huge variety of made-in-Vermont Catamount Glass cookware can be found and ordered.

47 comments:

mavi30 said...

I also dislike the traditional microwave popcorn, but love the convenience! I happened upon this thing at a Goodwill store and thought I'd give it a try. Thanks for talking about it and giving some instructions on how to use it. Are you sure that a little oil can be used? I want to try it but am a little worried.

Dave said...

You can put a little bit of oil in if you want, according to the info I've found online, but I just use mine dry and put butter on the popcorn when it's done popping. I think you'll be happy with it when you try it.

Anonymous said...

Question: Is the plastic lid supposed to fit on tightly when cooking in the microwave? I thought all dishes were supposed to be vented in the microwave or they might explode. I haven't tried my "new" garage sale Catamount popper yet, but I am looking forward to it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Question: Is the plastic lid supposed to fit on tightly when cooking in the microwave? I thought all dishes were supposed to be vented in the microwave or they might explode. I haven't tried my "new" garage sale Catamount popper yet, but I am looking forward to it. Thanks!

Dave said...

No, the original plastic lid that comes with the popper is not a tight fit - it sort of "clicks on" but it fits loosely and allows the popper to vent as the corn pops.

ardis said...

i just found one at a thrift store and it has the directions and i quote

"1) fill bottom of container with kernels single layer only.
2) add oil or butter and other flavors of your choice
3) place red lid loosely ontop (or black lid)
4) place in microwave oven for 3 to 5 minutes on high or more depending on wattage of your microwave oven
5) serve"

i have not had a chance to use mine but now looking forward to it

Anonymous said...

I brought my husband one for Christmas and we LOVE it. We put butter on the top and no oil inside and the popcorn is GREAT!

Donna said...

After about 8 years of regular use, my catamount popper broke. I'm going to get another. I always put a little oil in mine not more than a tsp. before I pop it and some salt. and my absolute favorite is to use hot chili oil. think both the oil and salt absorb better when put on pre popping. all other microwave popcorn sucks.

Wm said...

Mine has a screen lid that sits on top, not a tight lid. My impression is you would put buter or olive oil (my pref and it is delish) in and it would melt down from the heat of the fresh popped popcorn. Not sure though

Peg said...

I JUST BOUGHT MINE AT CRATE & BARREL. MY DIRECTIONS SAID TO PUT ABOUT 1-1/2OZ POPCORN AND POP FOR 2 MIN 45 SEC. THIS PRODUCES ABOUT 10 POPPED KERNELS! THEN WHEN I ADD TIME, I END UP WITH ABOUT 1 CUP POPPED BEFORE IT BURNS???

Dave said...

Peg: Remember that microwaves come in a wide variety of "strengths" and there's a lot of variation between them. It might take a couple of tries before you figure out the best setting for your microwave.

Before you give up on it, try using the instructions that ardis shared in one of the earlier comments. That might help, too.

Peg said...

Thanks Dave for your comment. I will keep trying. Do you think I should vary the power or keep power on "HI"? Also, my popper has a mesh lid with rubber ring at the top to melt butter? Perhaps this is what is keeping the popper from popping right away?

Dave said...

Peg: I would start by putting in enough popcorn seed to cover the bottom of the popper in a single layer. Then, I'd put the microwave on 75% or 80% power, since full power seemed to burn it last time. Stay by the microwave and listen to it pop - when the popping "slows down" take it out. You still might have eight or ten unpopped kernels, though.

not sure if I'd put butter on the screen to melt as it pops. I'd rather melt the butter separately, I think.

Good luck!

cybermum said...

Dave,I have been trying to buy this Catamount corn popper in Toronto, Canada but have not had any luck.
I also tried ordering one on-line from the U.S. but they don't mail to Canada. Have you any information on how I can purchase one?
Thanks,
Cybermum

Riri said...

Hi,

I am desperate. I have had my popper for about 10 years and my daughter has just smashed it.

Do you know of anyone who would ship to the UK?
Thanks so much.

Dave said...

I'm sorry, but I don't personally know of anyone selling these popcorn poppers who ship outside of the US. I'm makeing sure your comments and request get posted here, though, in hopes that one of my readers might be able to help you - and if I ever find information that might be able to help, I'll post it.

cybermum said...

Hi Dave,
Thanks for trying but in the meantime I found a company that delivers to Canada! They are out of stock though until Jan 2010.
Here is the URL:
http://www.vat19.com/dvds/catamount-microwave-popcorn-popper.cfm
Cybermum

D said...

The last time I visited the Crate 'n Barrel outlet in Chicago, they had a couple dozen of them stacked up. Still seems to be in stock, on sale, for $17.95. I think Crate 'n Barrel would ship to the moon, if compensated.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/y8ugp9t

Anonymous said...

I bought mine at goodwill and it doesn't have a lid. Do you know of a makeshift lid that I could use?

Dave said...

Anything roughly the same size should do for a lid because it's not supposed to fit tightly, it should just og on loosely, I've found the plastic lids from a can of peanuts (the kind they sell at Walgreen's) is just about perfect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dave. I think you covered all the questions - instructions, lid substitute, oils etc. It really helped my Goodwill find to use. S

Anonymous said...

Hello,

you can purchase a replacment lid at Catamount Glass 309 County Street Bennington VT 05201
I think the lid was $3.50

cybermum said...

I finally received my Catamount corn popper in April 2010. It was shipped to me in Canada and I was looking forward to popping non-stop! Unfortunately, the popper was too high to fit in my microwave - I am so frustrated! Now I'm waiting for my microwave to go on the blink so I can buy one that will fit. That's life!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Catamount has added two additional sizes to the corn popper family, 1qt. and a 4qt. The 1qt. is a single serving making approximately 3 cups popped. This will fit in a small microwave.

Anonymous said...

I have just purchased a used 2 oz Popcorn popper and the lid is missing. Any Idea where to get a replacement?

Dave said...

The manufacturer may be able to supply you with a new lid. Here's the contact info:

Catamount Glass Co.
309 County St.,
Bennington, VT 05201, United States
(802)442-5438

Anonymous said...

Finally found them in stock somewhere!

http://www.thekitchenstore.com/mi25qtcopo.html

Anonymous said...

I bought the personal sized popper and haven't figured out how to pop more than a handful of popcorn before it starts burning the popped ones. I have tried with canola oil, olive oil, no oil. I don't completely cover the bottom with kernels, so I'm not putting too much in and I still have many that don't pop. I've also tried using different power levels. I don't know what else to try. Any other suggestions?

Panamint Joe said...

On 07 March, 2011 20:51, Anonymous wrote: I bought the personal sized popper and haven't figured out how to pop more than a handful of popcorn before it starts burning the popped ones.

Make sure your popping corn is fresh. Old kernels dry out and won't pop. They need a certain amount of moisture to flash into steam and expand the starch. You may want to test a small batch on the stove top in a pan with oil.

Fire Opal said...

My Catamount glass corn popper blew a hole in its side last night. Have no idea why - a hole the size of a quarter and some cracks.

I use mushroom popcorn - a little oil, 3.28 minutes at power level 8 Makes perfect popped corn.

Anonymous said...

I bought a 2 quart glass Catamount popper at a flea market, that it was a neat item. I would like to try it out but I do not have the lid. Anyone know where I can get a lid or what might work to use as a lid?

Anonymous said...

I have been disappointed with this popper. I follow the directions. Total time is about 10 minutes not what the directions states. I would say about 1/3 kernels do not pop at all, and we only put in less than 1/4 cup. I will try fresher popcorn and see if that changes the outcome but so far, not thrilled with it. Like the taste though.

Anonymous said...

I bought the corn popper at a garage sale, it has a rubber lid with a metal strainer in it. Am I supposed to leave that on the popper when I put it in the microwave or am I missing a separate lid?

Anonymous said...

It looked attractive at first... but the glass is Silicone. Wonder why they can't just make a plain ole glass one?

Dave said...

The popper is made of borosilicate glass, the same glass formulation as laboratory glassware, which is noted for its heat resistance and durability.

It's NOT made of "silicone."

Anonymous said...

I have been using the 2 qt popcorn popper for two years. Mine has a rubbery lid with a metal screen. I use just under 1/2 cup of popcorn and then add a Tbsp of butter to the screen, and microwave for 2min 45 sec. But, mine is now broken. Do you know what outlets in the US carry it or is it only on-line.

Dave said...

At the moment, I believe the only place they are available is from the manufacturer (contact information is in one of my comments above.)

Patty said...

I bought 3 today at the Crate & Barrel Outlet Store in Alexandria, VA ($17.95). My popcorn was not done at all by 2 min 45 seconds, so I added more time and it ended up burning. Just tried a 2nd batch at 90% power for 3 min and it's much better. I might try 80% power next time.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the directions, i just thrifted one yesterday for $1.95 sans directions. very helpful!

Mamma said...

Haven't used it yet, but I know I can't use the handle, it came broken. I think I'll add a touch of oil to the popcorn when I do use the popper.

Anonymous said...

I also needed a new lid for my 2.5 qt popper and found access to this company on Facebook under "Catamount Glassware,Inc." or go to www.VermontGift.com. Good luck and Happy Holidays. Santa

Melissa said...

You can get the popper from Lakeside Collection. I was given one as a gift but it seems like the handle was cracked during shipping. Not sure how reputable the seller is because another item that was bought for us there was broken as well. http://www.lakeside.com/Housewares-%2B-Dining/Tools%2B%252B%2BGadgets/Glass-Popcorn-Popper/prod320105.jmp?navAction=jump&fm=search

Anonymous said...

You may also purchase replacement lids, popcorn popper's, etc. Directly from Catamount Glassware Inc. on their Retail Website: www.VermontGift.com

I love their popcorn poppers! They also have a lot of other neat products.

Anonymous said...

vermontgift.com has the popcorn maker

Don said...

REPLACEMENT LIDS

http://www.vermontgift.com/replacement_lids

Item #: SIL LID 2
2.5 Quart Corn Popper Lid
Price: $7.00

If you are only buying Lids, they will be Shipped via U.S.P.S.

Don said...

REPLACEMENT LIDS

http://www.vermontgift.com/replacement_lids

Item #: SIL LID 2
2.5 Quart Corn Popper Lid
Price: $7.00

If you are only buying Lids, they will be Shipped via U.S.P.S.

Jacquie said...

I have tried 4 times with different amounts and I watch closely but it burns before it all pops! :( My handle gets hot too??? So frustrated.
Jacquie